This weekend I officially registered for my very first half marathon. I don't think I ever would have taken up this challenge if I didn't care so much about the cause this race benefits, and of course not without the peer pressure of certain friends. The Chosen Marathon for Adoption is a natural fit, with proceeds benefitting lots of adoption funds large and small, including our 1:17 fund. (If you want to donate, click here and be sure to specify Team 1:17) It takes place in New Braunfels, TX, so it's an excuse for a nice little road trip to the hill country and I'm told the course is beautiful.
I joined Katy Fit's marathon training program and I've been following it pretty diligently. Because my goal race is much earlier than the goal race of the program, I am following the full marathon training program rather than the half program. I did eight miles two weeks ago and felt pretty good, but then started experiencing some pain in my left lower calf and ankle. My best guess is achilles tendonitis.
Frustrating, to say the least.
So I took several days off and iced it a lot. I skipped the six mile run last weekend and was feeling better when this weekend rolled around. So I decided to tackle the nine mile long run on Saturday. I was a touch sore but not too bad.
Running with other people is a great thing, so long as their pace is similar to mine. Twice in a row I've had the opportunity to share our faith and subsequent adoption journey with different people because everyone asks what race I'm training for and the conversation follows naturally from there. I always end up hearing second hand stories of other adoptive families that way too.
So I run out about four or five miles with someone to chat with, but once we turn around we tend to get separated and I'm on my own. That's also when the sun starts coming up and my fatigue begins to set in. From there it becomes a serious mental battle to keep my legs jogging and not walking. At least once on this last run I contemplated quitting this whole thing altogether. At about mile seven my right hamstring did something like a pull or strain. I was able to finish but it felt weird and I worried about it.
Of course, as soon as I get back to the starting place and guzzle a few gallons of water and gatorade, I feel great. Nine miles? Piece of cake. At least now I'm sure I'll finish the half marathon one way or the other.
But after a few hours my body rebels and my legs hurt. I contemplate my time and groan about how slow I am, how it's gonna take me three hours to run this race. How I'll be running that whole race solo because no one is as slow as me. It's the devil of comparison, you know. Nevermind that the whole point of a first half marathon is finishing.
So it's a struggle, dealing with these training aches and pains and trying to balance rest and running. Not to mention fitting runs into my very full schedule. I'm ready for this whole deal to be done. But I'm not quitting...not yet at least.
Just trying to remember that I'm running for the glory of God and the rescue of orphans.